By Benjamin Lemley | USA
Netflix star and stand-up comedian Aziz Ansari has recently come under fire for sexual assault allegations. The allegations come from an anonymous source who published her story on the website ‘Babe’. She recalls an encounter with Ansari where they went on a date then returned to his apartment. She said she felt pressured into sex, eventually performing oral sex. She said she went home and began to think of whether this was sexual assault or simply a bad date and sexual experience. She settled on the former.
Ansari responded in a statement by saying that he remembers the date, and saw nothing wrong with what happened. He said he was ‘surprised and concerned’ to hear that this woman felt otherwise.
Public reaction to these allegations has been mostly criticism of Babe and their source. People feel that the story, which is basically consistent from both accounts, doesn’t represent to them what sexual assault is. Ansari seemed to have no hints that what was happening was uncomfortable for his partner and it seems people have decided that it’s not his job to find those clues.
In a culture where sexual assault allegations are rampant, as is sexual assault itself, we as a society and as a country need to have very clear standards. When someone who has seemingly consented to sex or any sort, decides the next day that the encounter was uncomfortable, and as suck deems it assault, we must ask how that might feel for every actual rape victim out there.
Stories continue to pop up regarding Hollywood and sexual assault. Aziz Ansari is not the first and not the last to be accused. And in my opinion, the path towards reform consists of 2 main things. First, we need to make sure we have the right people. And second, when we know we do, let’s take legal action. Do those things and Hollywood, plus American, will be well on the way to effectively shaming and punishing sexual abusers.